May 2018

Music plays an integral role in the overall development of a child. Kids who learn music at a tender age become more creative and also find it easier to socialize with other kids. It is therefore important to expose the kids to different musical instruments as early as possible so that their interests can be identified.

Factors to consider when choosing the best musical instruments for kids

1. Age- Although kids learn close to everything they are taught, the way a five years old kid can learn is different from how a nine year old can learn. If the kid is really young, one can wait until they are of age so that they do not damage an expensive music instrument. If they understand what they are doing and why they are doing it, it also becomes easier for them to learn.

2. Interest- Again, it is easier for a kid to learn how to play a certain musical instrument if they have already shown some interest. Although most experts say that the piano is easier to learn for kids if the kid has interest in learning how to play the guitar, let them learn to play it first and then the piano can follow later.

3. Size and weight of the instrument- Some instruments require the kid to have long fingers enough to be able to play. Others like the drum set require good height which a kid may not possess. If the instrument is too large or too heavy for the kid, learning will be difficult. The best musical instruments for kids are those that they can play without having to strain. If they are comfortable playing it, it will be easier for them to learn how to play it.

4. Type of music- What type of music does the kid love? The kind of music that the child loves will help in determining the best musical instruments for them. For instance, if they love pop or rock music, an electric guitar would be a perfect instrument for them. If blues, classical and country music is their thing, then the acoustic guitar will come in handy.

Categories of musical instruments for kids

Musical instruments are categorized into different types and it is crucial to know them for one to be able to choose the best musical instruments for their kids. The categories include;

1. Percussion instruments- These include instruments such as drums, congo, tabla and the tambourine.

2. Wind instruments- Instruments under this category include; flute, trumpet, clarinet, and saxophones.

3. String instruments- Under this category falls instruments such as; guitars, violins, and lyres.

What are the best musical instruments for kids?

The best musical instruments are those that the kid can play easily, learn fast and with comfort. They should be able to have fun with the instrument they are learning. About which instrument they can learn fast, they can begin with the keyboard. Unless they have shown interest in other instruments, the keyboard is a good start that will help them learn other musical instruments with a lot of ease.

Other instruments that kids can learn include:

1. Saxophone- many players consider the saxophone as one of the easiest musical instruments to learn. Just like the Sax, the clarinet is also a good start for the kid due to its versatility.

2. Guitar- Most children watch rock stars playing the guitar and admire them. For them, therefore, the guitar is such an exciting musical instrument and learning will thus be easier.

3. Violin- This is an ideal instrument for kids precisely due to its small size. Kids can comfortably handle it and it is, therefore, ideal for any kid above four years.

4. Ukulele- The ukulele is small in size making it easier for kids to play. It is also able to pick tunes very easily and if one does not like the noisy instruments, then ukulele would be the ideal instrument for their kids.

5. Trumpet- Kids will love to make tunes with the trumpet. To begin with, they will simply make noises and with time they will learn to incorporate the rhythm.

6. Drums- As noisy as they may be, drums are fun and an excellent way for the kid to learn how to apply rhythm. If they can play the drums rhythmically, then it is easier for them to do so with the other instruments.

It is easier to identify the talent of the kid and shape it when they are still young. Exposing them to some of the best musical instruments will help their parents know what they love and how they can help them improve their talent.

The experience of making the best mixing & recording is magical. However, it is a very delicate art and requires a lot of keenness. Many things can go wrong if the mixing engineer has not mastered the skill required in this practice. The pitfalls range from a huge mic bleed to the intricacies of multitasking and in-the-moment communication amongst musicians. Indeed, there is a lot that one needs to be keen on to produce the best mixing & recording.

The unique thing about live recording is that it allows musicians to take advantage of the moment. To do so, the mixing engineer must be very keen to avoid the challenges shown above. A small mistake can cause untold headaches in an attempt to rectify it. Moreover, even after the attempt to correct the mistake is made, there is no guarantee that the mistake will be fully sorted.

It is still possible, though, to make the best mixing & recording in live concerts or elsewhere. Here are 5 key tips on how to go about it.

1. Lean into the Bleed A good mix may sometimes be spoilt by some bleed. You realize that no matter how much you try to get rid of it, it persists. Well, not to worry. Try to lean into the bleed instead of trying to clean it.

Take advantage of the sound and roll with it! For example, if the vocal mic sounds great, use it. If the guitar chords are rich and appealing in the snare, use the snare. Remember, your goal is to make a good mix in the end. Use your ingenuity to do so!

2. Use Volume Automation Take it easy on the compression. Trying to use the compressor to enhance the performance of an instrument can be counter-productive. It may cause the noise bleed to be more pronounced in a live recording.

You can go around this challenge by using automation. Automating the volume reduces the noise bleed and enhances the consistency of the recording. A Vocal Rider can come in handy to help you save time in this matter.

3. Use the Multiband Compression Sparingly Multiband is useful in attenuating a frequency. It is better than using too much EQ. The EQ enters the mix in excess, while the multiband reduces the range of a number of frequencies. In short, using the multiband enables you to get a better-quality recording.

Note that using too much of multiband can worsen the noise bleed. It, therefore, requires that you use it sparingly.

4. Choose subtractive EQ over additive EQ Many best mixing & recording artists are attracted to the allure of the additive EQ. It gives life to a studio by its power to command both highs and lows in a track. However, it is not the best choice for a live concert. The same reasons for which the additive EQ is much beloved are the very same ones that create a bleed. Since it boosts frequency on one channel, it causes a number of instruments to underperform because of the bleed.

The subtractive EQ produces better results in a live recording. It works very well with parametric EQs like the F6 Dynamic or in the SSL E Channel. It boosts the performance of each individual instrument by removing problem frequencies. As a corrective tool, the F6 is highly recommended. This is because it allows the EQ to engage when a frequency problem is noticed based on given settings. The F6 allows for the problem to be attacked, and the hold of the EQ is released right after this.

5. Create a Credible Stereo Image For the best mixing & recording, a good stereo imaging must be part of the equation. It is particularly important that it be incorporated in a live recording. This is more so if the recording does not have any elements of video imaging.

Imagine that you are recording a performance by a guitarist, a keyboardist, and a drummer. You place the drummer at the center, the keyboardist next to the floor tom and the guitarist close to the hi-hat. This can cause balance and phase problems. The guitar will produce a higher bleed in the hi-hat than in the floor tom. To prevent any potential problems when mixing, you can take a photo of the live session to use as a reference.

Apart from the above key tips, you could also use the following pointers to make your mixing and recording great:

i. Avoid using pitch correction or equalization

ii. Reverb and delay should be used cautiously.

iii. Phase coherence should be in tune with the drum tracks

iv. You can reshape the drum sounds

v. Mics should be properly tuned to minimize bleed

vi. DIs and re-amping should be used together whenever possible

The best mixing & recording brings out the real essence of a live performance. It heightens all the moments that make the music glow. You can enhance your skill in this area by following the above guide on how to come up with the best Mixing & Recording.

Do you own music instruments? Then you know these instruments can be expensive. Since they are costly what you should do is to ensure they are adequately maintained to last long. Storage is one of the essential parts of ensuring your best instrument accessories are in excellent condition.

There are various reasons why you would want to store your instruments. For instance, you may want to keep particular instrument for your kids for future use, or you may be a band member. If you live in small home whereby space is limited, and you are a member of a band, you would need to be careful to ensure that your instruments are appropriately kept so that they can serve you adequately without developing issues during performances.

To avoid poor performances due to damage to your best instrument accessories, you should ensure they are correctly kept for preservation in excellent condition. When it comes to storage, the right temperature should also be considered since this is part of the protection of your musical instruments. If your instruments experience harsh temperatures or there is sudden temperature change, this could lead to damage to your best instrument accessories. You should ensure they are kept in a place where the temperature is controlled to ensure safety.

Here are great tips to help you successfully preserve your music instrument:

Preparation for Storage

When you are storing your music instrument, it not right to just put it in a case and leave it there. You will need to do a lot of work before you can store the instrument. For instance, you need to ensure it is stored in an area where people will not trip and fall due to your poor storage. You need to know your instrument can still be damaged even if it is stored in a hard case. When storing your instrument in a hard case, you will be sure that it will not experience damage and also it will be protected from UV lights. It will ensure your instrument is not damaged due to environmental factors.

Storage of String Instruments and Woodwind Instruments

If you have an instrument that can be broken into various sections, you should separate them to ensure there is no pressure on the joints

On woodwind instruments, put a tissue paper between the pads. It will apply to instruments such as saxophones and flutes. It will be essential to keep the pads from being sticky.

You should ensure your instruments are first cleaned before storage. You can make use of clean cloth as well as vacuum to get rid of dust.

During cleaning of your best instrument accessories, you should ensure you make use of the best and right tool. Do not use household cleaners since they can damage your music instruments. You can visit music stores to buy special clothes you can use to clean your instruments.

Before you store stringed instruments, release the tensions if you are storing them for a long time. It will prevent the strings of your instrument from snapping.

Storage of Pianos and Drums

Loosening the skins of your drums would be a wise idea to ensure they are not stretching

Pianos can withstand pressure hence no need to loosen their strings

You should wrap the pedals, legs and the bench of your piano with padding to ensure they are protected

Use a tarp to cover the drums and pianos or use sheets to ensure they are protected from dust

It does not matter the space you choose for storage of your music instrument, but you must ensure they are not kept on the floor. Doing so will ensure if there are fluctuations in temperatures they are not at risk of being damaged. If there is a drastic increase or drop in temperature, your music instrument could contract and expand, and this can be harmful. It is wise even to keep off the pianos from floor whereby you can use pallets or casters.

You can also consider shelving arrangement which is helpful in that it will make you store your instruments on a flat surface yet not on the ground. If you have multiple stringed instruments such as guitars you can set up a wall where you can store these instruments. You will be hanging the instruments on the wall you have set up.

Music instruments should be kept away from doorways. The best place you can place these instruments is in the middle of your room where there are no possible changes in temperatures. You can also wrap your music instrument for additional protection.